Even though the pandemic has been ebbing for much of 2022, the debates still rage concerning face masks, public transportation rules, and vaccines.
Some mandates and guidelines remain in place, especially for federal workers. This includes those in the military, and those who don’t wish to get the COVID vaccine have run into numerous roadblocks.
But Now Members Of The Air Force Are Fighting Back — And They’re Making Some Very Strong Accusations.
The Biden administration has faced multiple lawsuits regarding the forced vaccine mandates, from both large business owners and employees and branches of the military.
These Air Force members are trying to avoid punishment and termination, and they believe the mandates are a direct violation of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. To them, it’s a Constitutional issue.
First Liberty Institute and law firm Schaerr Jaffe LLP filed the lawsuit against the Department of Defense on behalf of these irate service members.
Currently, only about 2 percent of Air Force hasn’t been vaccinated. But they all stand to lose their jobs if the mandate remains in place, and there is no form of religious exemption.
From Fox News:
The filing alleges that the Department of Defense is violating the First Amendment rights of the service members by imposing a vaccine mandate that ‘substantially burdens’ free exercise of religion, despite granting hundreds of administrative and medical exemptions.
In addition, the lawsuit argues that the government does not have a compelling interest and has not provided service members other less restrictive manners in which to stop the spread of COVID-19.
First Liberty Institute’s Mike Berry said that given the unstable times, “you’d think the Pentagon would want every service member at their post.”
Instead, it seems the federal government is “Forcing Tens Of Thousands Of Our Bravest Out Of The Service Because They’ve Chosen To Live According To Their Faith.”
The issue of religious freedom has hit a fever pitch since the start of the pandemic, as countless American citizens stood up against all forced vaccine mandates. They don’t believe any of it should be allowed.
It’s a violation of their rights as U.S. residents and in this case, it seems like an insult to those who have elected to serve their country.
Danielle Runyan is one of the plaintiffs in the case, and she faces involuntary separation because she won’t take the vaccine. She tried excusing herself on the grounds of her religion, but it didn’t work.
As she said in a statement:
Like many servicemembers, I want to continue faithfully serving my country as I have proudly done for the past 10 years.
As the Supreme Court has already recognized, ‘even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.’
The debate concerning mandates vs. religious freedom went all the way to the Supreme Court in March, after a lawsuit brought by 35 Navy SEALs.
However, the government continues to keep these mandates in place and thousands are in danger of losing their jobs if things don’t change.